LAS VEGAS, NV (Nov. 20, 2020)–Kelly Knievel (Senior) and Cyrus Whitney (Silver) won gross titles at the 2020 Clark County Senior Amateur while Frank Acker (Senior) and Tony Troilo (Silver) claimed net crowns. The tournament was held Nov. 19-20, 2020, at Boulder Creek Golf Club –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Kelly Knievel picked up victory No. 5 of the 2020 season, rallying past Brady Exber to win the Senior Division title by a stroke.
It was definitely a streaky two days for Knievel.
He started the two-day event with a two-under-par round after getting off to a five-under-par run over his first seven holes. A double bogey on the ninth hole slowed the momentum and he played his final nine at one-over-par.
He started the second day bogey-par-bogey before he played the next five holes in five-under-par, a stretch that included an eagle and three birdies. He then closed out the final round with three birdies on his back nine.
“Who knows about golf,” Knievel said with a laugh.
Knievel said the eagle definitely turned the momentum around. “I got lucky and chipped it in,” he said. “I made almost every putt from there on in. It’s all about making putts and I made a lot of them.”
Knievel again laughed when asked about his success in 2020.
“I’m not hung over in the morning,” he said about his number of wins. “That’s got my game on a good, even track going forward.”
With five victories in 2020, are there goals going forward?
“I’m not a guy who sets goals,” he said. “You’ve just got to play with what you bring to the course. You’ve got to get the ball in the fairway, hit the green and make some putts. Golf’s not any more complicated than that.”
Kelly Knievel, 70-67—137
Brady Exber, 68-70—138
Todd Roberts, 75-68—143
Frank Acker posted his fourth victory in 2020 (fifth counting a team victory), but this one wasn’t the title he was hoping to win as it came in the Senior Net Division.
“It’s the second time I’ve won this tournament in the net,” he said. “I started off with a 33 on the front today and I was trying to win the whole thing but just couldn’t keep it up. But I played pretty good and I’ll certainly take the win.”
He said the par 5s wound up being the difference.
“Today I just didn’t play the par 5s well,” he said. “They are all gettable but I was never in position to birdie one. Whether it was a bad drive or one reason or another I just didn’t make any.”
He added the rest of his group took advantage of the scoring holes. “Kelly (Knievel) made an eagle and we had a couple of other eagles in our group,” he said. “You have to get those par 5s and I just didn’t get it done.”
He added his solid play recently has him optimistic.
“I’m just feeling better,” he said. “I’m going to physical therapy four times a week for my back and I’m getting more speed and stamina. Overall it’s pretty good. It’s nice to be able to swing a little bit.”
Frank Acker, 68-69—137
Jeff Coppens, 72-69—141
Terry Martin, 72-72—144
Cyrus Whitney won an SNGA title for the first time in almost three years, putting up 10 birdies over the two days in winning by two strokes.
“I had both hips replaced last year and I’m just getting back into form,” he said. “I’m back to feeling almost 100 percent. Obviously I’m very happy.”
He added he played two solid days of golf.
“My driving and putting were standouts,” he said. “I only had one bad drive and no three putts. And I had 10 birdies and for me that’s really good.”
He added an unfortunate situation could have spelled disaster but, in the end, no damage was done.
“I lost a ball on a par-5 but still parred the hole,” he said. “I hit a five-iron approach with the second ball to about five or six feet and so I made eagle on the second ball. I was just hoping to get out of there with a bogey and not derail my round and managed to make a par.”
Cyrus Whitney 71-70—141
John Turk, 69-74—143
Dan Parkinson, 73-71—144
Tony Troilo, who late in 2019 got back in the SNGA winner’s circle after a 15-year absence, won another title as he breezed to a 13-shot victory in the Silver Net.
Troilo posted three net eagles to go along with 15 birdies (nine net and six natural) in coasting to the win.
“My mindset was to not make mistakes on the greens and I didn’t have any three putts either day,” Troilo said. “I had a real good two days on the greens.”
He said even his mistakes didn’t hurt him.
“It seemed like even when I hit a bad shot it was bad enough that I still wound up OK,” he said. “I definitely had some luck.”
He said he played two steady rounds, something that usually doesn’t happen.
“I had six natural birdies so I’m happy,” he said. “I play this course a lot so I know how to read the greens. My problem is I usually try too hard to make the first putt and leave myself with a six-footer coming back. These two days I worked on lagging the putts leaving no-brainers for pars and a few of them fell for birdie. I usually have blowup holes but these last two days I avoided them.”
He added there’s no doubt which club in his bag he leaned on the most over the two days.
“When it’s this time of year, I can putt from anywhere,” he said. “That’s a big advantage. I can’t chip to save my life. When I have to chip I can bring any number into play.”
Tony Troilo 64-62—126
Dario Gonzales 69-70—139
John Kelley, 69-71—140